His time on the state Board of Public Safety now done, Effingham County’s Murray Kight was honored by his former fellow board members last Wednesday night.
In a ceremony at Kessler Hall at New Ebenezer Retreat Center, Kight was given a proclamation paying tribute to his service.
“There’s not a more sincere, honest, hard-working, dedicated individual,” said Ellis Wood, state public safety board vice-chairman.
“Murray Kight has been our friend for many, many years and an exemplary citizen and an exemplary representative of our county,” said state Rep. Jon Burns.
Kight was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve on the state public safety board and served from March 2010 until this May.
A Swainsboro native, he lived in Bulloch County and moved to Effingham when he was 12 years old. In 1962, he and his brother opened Kight Ford and served as the dealership’s president until it was sold in 1985.
He was a founding member of Citizens Bank of Effingham and was one of the first members of the Effingham Hospital Authority. Kight also served on Springfield City Council and as mayor of Springfield.
Kight also was a member of the 2195 Group but has retired from that organization that runs several hotels at the intersection of Highway 21 and Interstate 95.
“I’m looking forward to retirement,” Kight said.
Brian Rickman, district attorney with the Mountain Judicial Circuit, said he got some advice from Wood as he was joining the board.
“He said one of the most valuable things, especially for a younger person, will be the professional relationships you build and the people you get to be around,” Rickman said. “That has proven to be so true I can’t begin to quantify it.”
Rickman said he was struck by Kight’s humility and his penchant for working without seeking fanfare.
“We live in such a ‘look-at-me’ generation now. Everybody has to say how great they are,” he said. “What’s wonderful about individuals like Murray Kight is they don’t have to say that. They just are.”
Kight was presented a copy of House Resolution 493 Thursday morning, honoring the life of his late brother Amos Louis Kight. Amos Kight wanted to be a state trooper and enlisted to serve for one year on active duty and five years in the reserves so he could attend trooper school at age 21 without the prospect of being drafted into military service.
His reserve unit was activated and sent to Korea, and Kight fought there from October 1950 to Jan. 21, 1951, when he was killed in action. He was seven months shy of turning 21 and being old enough to attend trooper training.
“I have known for Mr. Kight for many, many years,” said state Rep. Bill Hitchens, a veteran. “And he was a great mentor and a respected man in our community. We certainly regret the passing of his brother.”